Hi friends! It’s been a while since I’ve updated what’s going on with the trailer. This summer was a littttttle busy for me (I graduated, got married and went on a few big trips!) but now I’m getting back to work on finishing this dang trailer!
Doing all new electrical for the bean seemed daunting at first because I’ve only done very rudimentary wiring. After doing some research, it turns out it actually isn’t that complicated. I had a hard time finding a simple explanation for this type of electrical system so I’ll do my best to break it down for you here.
There are three different electrical systems in our new trailer wiring: 12 volt (direct current), 120 volt (alternating current) and trailer tail lights that are hooked up to the towing vehicle.
For the 12 volt system, we bought two 6 volt 225 amp Trojan batteries. The batteries are wired in series to bump the voltage up to 12 amps. The batteries are charged by a Renogy 100 watt solar panel. The solar panel comes with a charge controller that trickle charges the batteries. We also bought these 20' cables so we have enough length to either attach the solar panel to the roof or to set it up outside our campsite (we're not quite sure if the roof will be able to hold the weight of the solar panel yet ). Almost everything in the trailer will run off of the 12 volt system - the lights, fan and usb outlets. We wanted the trailer to rely mostly on solar power and only use 120v when necessary.
The 120 system is only for shore power when we will be directly hooked up to a campsite’s power. The campsite’s power is connected to the trailer with a shore power inlet. The inlet is wired to a battery charger/inverter combo. The battery charger/inverter has one regular outlet on it. We don’t expect to have anything in the trailer that requires an outlet but we have one if need be. The only thing I can think of would be my laptop charger or possibly an extension cord. Everything else (basically just our cell phones) can be charged with a wall mounted usb outlet. Having minimal really outlets simplifies our electrical system.
The lights on the back of the trailer (brake light, turn indicator etc.) is hooked up to my car with this connector. This one is specific to my car so you’ll have to do some research on what you car requires before purchasing it.
So far we’ve only hooked up the solar panel to the batteries. We’re still in the process of getting everything together for the 120 system. Next we’ll do a dry run of figuring out where all the lights will go inside the trailer (as well as our porch light). Once everything is laid out where we want it, we will install the interior walls. I’m really looking forward to having a semi-finished looking interior with real walls rather than just the framing we’ve been staring at for the past few months.
I will update once all the electrical is in, I just wanted to give a quick run down of how the three systems work!